Crumbled Plastic Intake Manifold Strands Motorist

My wife called me from the side of the road recently, stranded by a coolant leak. She thought a hose had ruptured, so I grabbed a few tools and went to see what I needed to do to get her 2001 Mustang GT back on the road.

When I popped the hood, I found the hoses were all intact, but a plastic nipple exiting the rear of the plastic intake manifold on the 4.6L V8 had broken off. I was hopeful there was enough of the nipple left so I could reattach the hose, but when I touched it, I found the plastic had broken down into a crumbly mess.

I carefully removed what remained of the nipple, and used a pipe tap to thread the manifold and insert a plumbing fitting to replace the plastic piece. This is the second coolant leak related to a piece of the manifold breaking or disintegrating. In my experience, it seems to be a common problem with the Ford 4.6L engines equipped with a plastic manifold. While the repair is working flawlessly, an after-market aluminum manifold will be installed to replace the poorly-designed OEM unit.

It appears a barrel of monkeys from the EPA (whose fuel economy mandates have manufacturers seeking any way to reduce weight); cost accounting (looking for the cheapest way to reduce weight); and poorly-educated engineers conspired to create this abomination.

This entry was submitted by Herm L. Harrison and edited by Rob Spiegel

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